In 2019, the audit committees of the capital region cities and the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) carried out a joint assessment to see whether health care e-services work smoothly and whether they meet the municipal residents’ needs in terms of quality and effectiveness. The assessment revealed that health care e-services mainly work smoothly and meet the residents’ needs in terms of quality and at least to some extent in terms of effectiveness.
The assessment examined health care e-services from the perspectives of self-care and customer services, using the patient group of diabetics as an example case. The availability of e-services has made it easier to provide services in a timely manner. It is not possible for all client groups to use e-services, but they can use the traditional service channels or authorise another person to use the services on their behalf. The accessibility of services is, to some degree, limited by the fact that not all services are available in an equally comprehensive manner in Finnish, Swedish and English. In addition, plain language requirements have not yet been taken into consideration in all services.
E-services help support self-care. One of the factors that makes it difficult to utilise the data produced by clients is the fact that data is not always automatically transferred between systems. The impact of e-services on the efficiency of work is not entirely clear. E-services are a new channel that will not necessarily eliminate, replace or reduce other tasks during the early stage. The successful and effective introduction of e-services requires updating the processes of health care units and strengthening the personnel’s digital skills. As e-services become well established, it will be possible to use them to improve the efficiency of work and enable the reallocation of resources in health care.
The capital region cities and HUS made joint recommendations on how to improve the accessibility of e-services in health care. In addition, they recommended that, in the future, more attention should be paid to the findability of e-services on the websites of the cities and HUS. Traditional service channels must also remain available for use to ensure equality between different client groups.
The audit committees of the capital region cities have carried out joint assessments since 2008. This was the tenth joint assessment, and the second assessment in which the HUS audit committee participated.
The cities and HUS have made their recommendations in their assessment reports for 2019:
Steering group for the joint assessment of the capital region audit committees
Chairperson of the joint assessment steering group,
City of Espoo Auditing Committee, Chairperson
tel. 050 5727 497
City of Helsinki Audit Committee, Chairperson
tel. 044 5066 613
City of Kauniainen Audit Committee,
tel. 040 841 0568
City of Vantaa Auditing Committee, Chairperson
tel. 050 5829 444
HUS Audit Committee, Vice-Chairperson
tel. 050 356 4386